A fuller description of Hanukkah appears in What Grows in Your Garden, when Sarah arrives at her parents’ home after her first semester of college teaching.
“Fresh applesauce bubbled on the stove, and chocolate cake layers were cooling and waiting for someone to assemble them into the Hanukkah surprise cake*, which would contain foil-wrapped chocolate coins. The kitchen air smelled of bubbling yeast, hot oil, and grated onions. And in the window, the menorah waited for its daily ration of Hanukkah candles.
“Leah Chomsky had been looking forward to her daughter’s arrival, but once Sarah was in the house and Leah had hugged her, kissed her, and bedecked her with an apron, she handed her a grater. “Potatoes, Sarah. Grating the potatoes for tonight’s latkes* is your job.” Sarah was home, and all the worries about her new job faded away.
“During the eight days of celebration, family members and friends drifted in and out of the house in a blur of greetings and well-wishes. Children littered the floors with their games of dreidel,* and the teenagers devoured the sufganiyot* faster than anyone could fry them. Love and joy were the rules of the day, and the evenings resonated with prayers of gratitude for the miracles of the lights.”
* Recipes and directions to follow next week.